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The effect of tides on dense water formation in Arctic shelf seas

By C. F. Postlethwaite, M. A. Morales Maqueda, V. le Fouest, G. R. Tattersall, J. Holt and A. J. Willmott

Abstract

Ocean tides are not explicitly included in many ocean general circulation models, which will therefore omit any interactions between tides and the cryosphere. We present model simulations of the wind and buoyancy driven circulation and tides of the Barents and Kara Seas, using a 25 km × 25 km 3-D ocean circulation model coupled to a dynamic and thermodynamic sea ice model. The modeled tidal amplitudes are compared with tide gauge data and sea ice extent is compared with satellite data. Including tides in the model is found to have little impact on overall sea ice extent but is found to delay freeze up and hasten the onset of melting in tidally active coastal regions. The impact that including tides in the model has on the salt budget is investigated and found to be regionally dependent. The vertically integrated salt budget is dominated by lateral advection. This increases significantly when tides are included in the model in the Pechora Sea and around Svalbard where tides are strong. Tides increase the salt flux from sea ice by 50% in the Pechora and White Seas but have little impact elsewhere. This study suggests that the interaction between ocean tides and sea ice should not be neglected when modeling the Arctic

Topics: Oceanography, GC1-1581, Geography. Anthropology. Recreation, G, DOAJ:Oceanography, DOAJ:Earth and Environmental Sciences, Environmental sciences, GE1-350
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.5194/os-7-203-2011
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:40bd70c1439e48e5bfb6c325d7ec541c
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